Altrincham HQ - headshot
Alex McCann – Altrincham HQ

My Altrincham

Introduce your business and tell us what you’ve been up to recently?

Well i’m Alex from Altrincham HQ and we’re a Social Media Training and Management Company based in Altrincham.

I don’t like to blow my own trumpet – so in true social media style I let my clients do it for me and am Ranked Number 1 in the UK on freeindex for Social Media Marketing via independent customer testimonials

What we do is work with local businesses to help improve their social media presence (i.e Twitter / Facebook / Linkedin being the main 3) and reduce advertising expenditure. Times are tough at the moment, so in terms of marketing you need to make sure what you’re spending both your time and money on is effective and works

Local businesses we’ve worked with include Silver Blades aka Altrincham Ice Rink, Holt Business Solutions, Pitta Crepe, Zipyard, The Gobstopper and The Bowdon Rooms amongst many others. Larger businesses we’ve worked with include Henri Lloyd Jeans, Dry Bar and Leo’s Fish Bar.

So far in 2012 we’re busier than ever and have worked with prestigious venues like Arley Hall in Cheshire and an international coffee brand called Organo Gold

What makes you different from other similar businesses in the area?
We’re an independent, we’re not a fly by night franchise, and chances are we’ve been using Social Media a lot longer than other companies

In other businesses i’ve been involved and using Social Media on a daily basis for the past 7 years – i’ve met Social Media gurus who literally have done a half days course and are training people the next day because they’ve bought into a franchise.

Oh and we specialise in Social Media rather than being jack of all trades – we don’t claim to deliver SEO, website design, but know experts who do and we can refer you on to them

My advice – if you get approached by a Social Media Marketer ask some probing questions and see they’re not one of the above

What flexibility does being an independent business give you over a national chain / business?
Total flexibility in terms of Social Media – and we primarily help small businesses which have that same level of flexibility

The chains of communication are so long in larger businesses that a simple decision can take weeks or months

As an independent you can think on your feet and make decisions in minutes or hours and implement changes today

Looking back, which piece of advice would you give to somebody setting up their own business today?
Firstly, Do what you love because running your own business involves long hours, but getting up early and staying up late isn’t a chore if you love it

Secondly, as well as doing Social Networking – also get involved in offline business networking. It’s really helped my business over the past year and there’s that same positive mental attitude that you find online in real life. Negative people stop positive things from happening and positive people inspire change – get involved!!!

What part does Social Media play in your business?
Well it is my business – so massively

I guess you’d have to ask my clients that, but the testimonials speak for themselves. Very happy business owners out there whom social media is doing wonders for their business

And getting to know you and your Altrincham…

Where do you eat / take out in Altrincham?
Coco’s has got to be my current favourite for eating out and I went there a few times over the Christmas build up. Italian done well is the nicest food ever and the profiteroles for desert are the best ever tasted. I’ve booked it again for this years birthday as well. Definitely check out

In terms of take out it’s got to be one of 3 places A) Pitta Crepe for amazing Omelette Pitta’s – my number 1 choice their being veggie although for meat eaters the Moroccan Lamb and Mexican Beef are customer faves B) Altrincham Market Chippy – went as a kid and still amazing all these years later – never fails C) My local chippy is Nicks (Navigation Fish Bar) – great service and great good

Which is your favourite pub or bar to drink at in Altrincham?
For football it’s the Tatton all the way – table service so you don’t need to leave your seat and great atmosphere

Post works drinks it’s usually the Slug and Lettuce and then I like the traditional pubs such as Old Market Tavern and The Railway in Hale

And then newer bars such as Bloom Jazz Bar and Cushion, i’ve only been in once but really liked them

Where is your essential must visit shop in Altrincham?
I’m a bloke so I only shop when I have to really

But I get a book monthly from Waterstones and for office supplies Holt Business Solutions is a must – saves me a fortune

Would love to see a record shop open again as loved HMV being here and still remember the days when we had 4 record shops in Altrincham

What’s been the most impressive new business you’ve seen open in Altrincham in the past 12 months?
Yogberries and Pitta Crepe have both been with us about a year – I just love the fact that they’re original and nobody else was doing them and they thought lets go for it… and now they’re both really successful

In an ideal world What major improvement would you like to see happen in Altrincham?
I’d like to see businesses take some ownership and look to market themselves – there’s a lot of talkers and think tanks waiting for Mary Portas to come and save the town, but a positive attitude would help a lot of local businesses

But in terms of something visible – Stamford New Road with the Station Pub, the Old McDonalds simply needs improving now as not the best first impression for people coming off trams or buses

And the Iceland end of George Street – how long has the old JJB Sports been empty for now?

And if we want to look you up on Social Media what’s your facebook / twitter addresses?
Twitter is @altrinchamhq
Facebook is www.facebook.com/altrinchamhq

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